As we celebrate each passing birthday, we all hope to be mobile and active and to maintain our independence and quality of life. Missouri Baptist Medical Center offers these suggestions:
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight causes undue stress on knees, hips and back. Losing weight or maintaining an appropriate weight helps when it comes to keeping joints healthy.
2. Stay Active
Moving the joints helps circulate synovial fluid, keeping cartilage nourished. Unlike most body tissues, cartilage does not have its own blood supply. Synovial fluid is what allows the bones to glide over one another when you move.
3. Eat a Nutritious Diet
A well-balanced diet includes getting the recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin D, which help strengthen bones. Diets, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, may help reduce joint pain. For individual dietary advice, consult your physician or a registered dietitian.
4. Set Health and Exercise Goals
Setting goals can help you stay motivated and provide a way to track your progress.
5. Join a Group or Friend
Exercising with a group, health partner or friend can keep you accountable, while also being fun.
6. Get Strong(er)
Strong muscles provide support for your joints and help you move with greater ease.
7. Improve Endurance
Exercises, such as walking, cycling or swimming, improve aerobic endurance and may help reduce joint swelling. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
8. Stay Flexible
Maintaining flexibility helps in performing daily activities and reduces the risk of injury.
9. Improve Agility and Balance
Exercises, such as tai chi and yoga, may improve physical function and help reduce falls.
10. Use Good Body Mechanics
Good posture reduces stress on joints. Be sure to use good body mechanics when lifting and carrying items.
Sometimes even with preventive methods, there is a time for joint replacements.
Causes for replacement include:
- Osteoarthritis – due to wear and tear of joints
- Inflammatory arthritis – from rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis – a condition causing the death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply
- Post-traumatic – due to injuries
The Joint Replacement Center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center has a team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons who perform hip and knee replacements. The surgeons along with physical therapists provide surgical, nursing and rehabilitative services designed to get you in motion!
For more information on the Joint Replacement Center, please visit MissouriBaptist.org/ JointCenter. For more about therapy services at the Center for Outpatient Therapy and Wellness, visit MissouriBaptist.org/Rehab. For a physician referral, call 314.996.LIFE (5433) or 800.392.0936.